Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Goat health

When you raise any animals, whether pets or livestock, a certain amount of health maintenance is necessary. For the goats I have, it's not a lot. Their systems aren't real fussy. Being part Kiko, they are resistant to parasites. Not immune to them, but resistant. I do give them diatomaceous earth (commonly just called DE) in their feed to help control any internal parasites. I also brush it into their hair and skin to avoid mites, ticks (they are BAD this year) and any other external parasites. Brushing a skittish goat also helps establish trust.

What we can't see, though, are pathogens that are naturally occurring in the soil. This means that even grazing or browsing on brush, they may ingest some nasties. We also can't see things like tetanus that can enter through a wound. So, annually we give the goats a vaccine for Clostridium perfringens type C and D and Clostridium tetani (tetanus). This is commonly called the CD/T vaccine. It's very inexpensive to purchase and a small vial holds 10 doses. 

You can read more about it here. (This is NOT a sponsored link. I'm just sharing so you'll have information.)

It's not a good idea to hold it over from one year to the next, but within the course of a year, you can safely refrigerate it and use it for boosters in young kids. 

We follow a routine when giving this vaccination that is as follows:

  1. Wipe the top of the vial with alcohol.
  2. Wipe the injection area on the goat with alcohol.
  3. Insert the needle fully into the vial through the rubber tip and pull the plunger back to get the dose needed. (Do not push air into the vial as this introduces bacteria.)
  4. Inject it into the goat in a place where you can pull the loose skin away from muscle and bone. This is a subcutaneous vaccine so it goes under the skin.
  5. Wipe the injection site with alcohol again.
We put the injection in the loose skin right behind the front leg. It's easy to access and not too tough. For the adult goats, this is an annual vaccine. For baby goats, we give the vaccine at about 4 weeks old, then again at about 8 weeks old. Then they are set until next year.

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